I think this iteration did make substantial gains in the media presentation:
- races were held to a particular elapsed time, which makes for better scheduling
- good use of drones and on-board cameras. I'm sure the helicopter shots were expensive, but necessary
- digital overlay of distance to mark, laylines, tracks, wingwash, etc did add to the "show", especially for those not fully versed in match sailing rules or tactics
- generally reliable video streaming
- better vignettes on the technology, teams, and training
- Commercials (at least for semi-finals and finals) didn't walk all over important race developments.
- The venue was gorgeous, but they could have spent less time taking video of the fans. I opine that sailing is generally not a (fixed position) spectator sport. I think I saw more of the race via streaming than those fans in the bleachers. What I DID miss, however, was the in-person interaction with the team bases, and the up close sense of the boats during docking.
Putting Draper, Cayard, and Outteridge on the mike was a plus, too.
The lighter air venue probably helped with the spectator fleet in that I don't personally like being anchored in 25+ kts just to watch a sailing race.
SO, how do you take these improvements and make it marketable?